American Olympians are fuming that USA Track & Field CEO made nearly $4 million, while athlete stipends max out at $12,000
USA Track & Field CEO Max Siegel made $3.8 million in 2021, nearly triple his earnings from the year before.
More than half of the money paid to USATF's 80-plus employees went to the top two executives.
Top athletes are given a $12,000 stipend, and some are forced to quit because they can't afford to compete.
USA Track & Field released its annual tax document, and the amount of money that went to its CEO is raising eyebrows.
According to the organization's Form 990, a document that must be made public by non-profits, Max Siegel made $3.8 million in 2021. That represents 11.3% of the $33.6 million in revenue for the entire organization.
His earnings also represent 39.2% of the total salaries and compensation paid to all employees ($9.7 million). According to Runner's World, the USATF employs 82 people.
In addition, COO Renee Washington made $1.6 million last year. Together, Siegel and Washington represent 16.1% of total revenue and 55.7% of all salaries and compensation.
According to the USATF, top (Tier 1) athletes are given a $10,000 annual stipend and $2,000 in medical compensation.
The top athletes, of course, earn more in endorsements, but it appears those earnings still pale in comparison to Siegel's compensation. According to Running Magazine, one of the top earners in USATF is sprinter Sydney McLaughlin, who is believed to make more than $1.5 million from her deal with New Balance.
Here is a breakdown of Siegel's earnings, according to the tax document.
Base pay — $685,000
Bonus — $500,000
Other reportable compensation — $2.6 million
Retirement or other deferred compensation — $28,500
Nontaxable benefits — $31,166.
While total revenue for USATF grew 10.5% in 2021 from $30.5 million in 2020, Spiegel's earnings nearly tripled from $1.3 million in 2020. Washington's compensation more than doubled from $626,000.
Some of the athletes are not happy.
—Chelsea Hayes, OLY (@DatGirlChels_27) November 29, 2022
—Harrison Williams (@hfwilliams10) November 28, 2022
USATF gave a statement to Runner's World about the compensation of Siegel:
"The CEO is evaluated yearly and is judged on overall organizational performance. The board is extremely pleased with Max's performance. The organization's success on and off the field of play has been historic under his leadership and we are poised to continue that trajectory. The USATF Board is comfortable with Max's salary level and as a part of this year's evaluation, we will do a deep dive with an outside firm to analyze his salary based on his level of expertise and how it compares to organizations with similar or smaller operating budgets."
According to Sarah Lorge Butler of Runner's World, Spiegel's earnings exceed those of the top executive at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), who earned $1 million in 2021. The USOPC oversees the USATF and reported $457.6 million in revenue in 2021.
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